Lali: From Indoor To Outdoor

Excerpt: For several decades, the statistical record of this ominous illness has grown up very fast.. Now this disease itself is the twelve percent of all women diseases of the world. (Reads: 190)


She was coming back from ration-shop. Her both hands were heavily full of vegetables and other edibles. The street was crowded with passers-by. Every one was in hurry. As she dashed through the street , a handicapped beggar who was impatiently waiting for her arrival, hopefully kept looking at her until she was out of his sight.  He was surprised because against her usual routine, she gave him nothing that evening.

“I think she forgot my alms toady or because her both hands were busy .” The beggar said to himself.  But very soon she was seen coming back towards him. She came and gave him a fistful coins. In a while his unhappy face beamed with a pleasing smile and said ;

“How might you return without giving me some alms, it is beyond of your bounty. ”

“Yes , I can’t leave you hungry until I am here ,” said she and left.

she was LALI ,  a type of generous woman. Originally she belongs to her forefather’s village .But she was new in that populated extension. She, with her husband recently shifted there in Patna city. She was a wife of a bank employee so their life style was between prosperity and poverty. They had not much problems of financial wherewithal.

Lali was forty. Neither she was more beautiful nor quite ugly. But her veracity for her family had  made her queen of every eye. She had curly hair , always parted by a straight hairdo line from her forehead to back head. And the two tresses of her long hair were always following upon her shoulders. She was a short-statured lady, having a usual height of women.

It was 9:00 pm. In half an hour with a whirl of activity and a lot of intense interest, Lali had prepared the dinner. On every Saturday she manages to save the time to sit before the television so that she could enjoy her favorite program. As soon as the program started, Lali squatted on the sofa to watch the serial. Now she had lost herself with the emotions of the characters in the serial. Meantime, the door-bell rang which was an understood sign of her husband’s arrival. She almost ran to the door, where she welcomed him by a warm hug. ” I was both, tired and hungry. Now the tiredness has gone by your boundless love but the hunger is still with me,” said the master of the family.

“Not a problem. The dinner is already waiting for you.” Lali said in a relaxed tone and made the food present.

“It has been more than one month since we met our Karan and Neelam last time to their hostel .Now I am impatient to see them again . Don’t you miss your children ?”

“Of course I do. Never suspect my love and affection for my babies . Tomorrow is Sunday. I see it better to visit them the following day.” Her husband replied without any eye contact . His voice was weary as he was getting drowsiness . They had their dinner and went to the bed . Lalchand was tired so he fell asleep very shortly . But his mistress lay there absorbed in deep thought about the educational journey of her twins, cute Karan and pet Neelam .

“Will this modest salary of their father allow them to continue their education in upcoming years ? The fee of public-school has been rising high and high . Leave the prices of daily-used things . If this small income of the family remains in same way, how will we afford our kid’s education onward ?” Lali kept thinking until she too went into deep slumber .

Next morning this married couple left the bed earlier than they used to . As I have already  mentioned that they were going to see their children ,so it did not take more than twenty minutes for Lalchand to be ready . He was a kind of punctual person . Not naturally , because he was a sluggish man by birth but his employment in banking sector had made him methodical.

“Hurry up. How much time do you take to be ready? It is getting late.” Lalchand said to his wife while he was busy flipping the pages of newspaper.

” Do remember today is Sunday?  At least today give me liberty to use the time in any way I wish,”  replied Lali in one go and closed herself in bath room.

While having a bath, she saw her reflection in a large mirror which was fairly settled there on the wall.

“Am I still young? Not a single line of old age on my forehead. Hair is still dark. Am I still worth to be loved. Does Lalchand still loves me? Yes, Yes, he does. And more than before.” Under the splashes of shower she tried to delineate some extent of her natural beauty. She was amazed to see that the nipple of her right breast was getting inverted and it’s natural shape has been changed due to some small lumps on it. Suddenly her face turned pale and heart started beating very fast. She stood stunned before the mirror, touched her lumpy breast and a few drops of tear rolled down her cheeks . She did not know what kind of illness it was , but she was pretty sure that it was not a minor disease.

She came out of bathroom stepping wearily.

“Be ready quickly. I don’t have all day to go to the kid’s school. I have another fish to fry.”  Lalchand said loudening his voice from behind the newspaper.

She replied nothing.

After a pause, Lalchand wrapped the paper, put it aside and went to the bed room where Lali was sitting on the couch sadly. Her meaningful silence helped him to understand that there was something wrong with her.

“What made you upset and why are you so silent? Let me know what happened to you.” Asked Lalchand in an impatient manner.

Lali made him aware about what she had seen upon her breast in bathroom. According to the situation, they cancelled the plan to meet their twins and decided to go to the physician.

After involving with all the formalities of check-up they went to the doctor again. The doctor read the report carefully from top to bottom and said;

This is developing gradually. For several decades, the statistical record of this ominous illness has grown up very fast.. Now this disease itself is the twelve percent of all women diseases of the world.” The doctor’s word confused them totally. They could not get what the doctor wanted to say.

” Sorry sir, we did not understand what do you mean,” excused Lalchand to the doctor.

” Mr. Lal, you will have to be courageous. Your wife is suffering from BREAST CANCER . The doctor informed him politely.

Lali who was sitting just before the doctor inside the cabin,  felt empty to listen this mournful news. She remained as still as she was sentenced to death by a judge.

“Sir, in this case what our next step should be?” asked Mr. Lal

Have patience. Don’t be frightened. Now it is a curable disease. Surgery is only way to come out from this illness. All will be right.” The doctor tried to comfort Mrs. Lali.

She became voiceless . Words stuck in her throat . She could hardly said, “y….y….yes !”

Lal and Lali came back their home .

“How to get rid of the cancer?” was the question which did not let them be in comfort.

They started managing the required money for the surgery . Lal began to think day and night how to save Lali. In other hand once again Lali was anxious about her kid’s education . She was fearful if she would die by cancer, the life of her children will be deserted . Who will care for them? How they will continue their journey towards success? These questions made Lali more and worried.

Few Months Later:

Somehow Lali managed to save her life . Her surgery was surprisingly successful. But after surgery her fitness and beauty was lost due to her uneven breast. Still her dreams for her children’s career remained unfulfilled.

But after this incident her course of life was completely different. Now she was no more an unknown house-wife, whose focus was to serve the family and to cherish the children with greater attention. But she had become a public speaker whose name was then on every lips of the city. After recovery from the cancer , she had also formed an NGO for the awareness of girls and women. Her main intention of forming the NGO was to awake the women from slumber alerting them to the danger of cancer. She wanted a cancer-free nation . She did not wanted any other woman to be fallen in breast cancer like herself. With the laps of time , her NGO was accepted as one of the most influenced NGOs of the country. And Lali became the voice of voiceless women of society.


About the Author

Wasim Ahmad Alimi

Wasim Ahmad Alimi was born and brought up in Katihar Bihar. currently living in New Delhi . He studied in Jamia Millia Islamia, wrote many short stories including ''Behind The Veil Of Poverty''. He also translated some fiction works. Recently he translated Dr Anwarul Haq's 'The Long Wait' in Urdu under the title 'Shabe Intezar Guzri H'.

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